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FutureStarrMay Flower Plant
May Flowers is a tiny, green plant-like alien who does one thing: take care of flowers. You give her a bed for a day, and at the end of the day she'll return it in a different form. You can take care of a flower or plant for a day for free (and then watch May Flowers grow into a fully-fledged flower).mayflower, either of two spring-blooming wildflowers native to eastern North America or one of several plants that bloom in the spring in Europe. Podophyllum peltatum (family Berberidaceae) is more often called mayapple, and Epigaea repens (family Ericaceae) is the trailing arbutus. Crataegus monogyna (family Rosaceae), a species of hawthorn, is commonly known as mayflower or May flower in England.
The flower that adorns the top banner of our website is Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus or mayflower), a small plant with a storied history. Widespread throughout Massachusetts and the eastern United States but not common in the landscape, it is a trailing, evergreen shrub from the Ericaeae (heath family), a group that also includes cranberries and blueberries. Epigaea is both delicate and tough— it grows slowly and is vulnerable to disturbance, but thrives in highly acidic sandy or peaty soils that are inhospitable to many plants. It is often found growing along trail cuts, sloping hillsides, and rocky outcrops—areas that are exposed or steep enough that leaf litter will not build up over the plant, and open enough for it to get a few hours of direct sun a day. Young forests with thinner and more open tree canopies offer ideal growing conditions for Epigaea; the species has become less abundant in New England over the last century as our forests age, growing denser and more shaded.
Epigaea leaves are astringent, leathery, and covered in coarse hairs to discourage herbivory, though the larvae of some insects specialize in eating them. These include the leaf-mining beetle Brachys howdeni, and a species of twirler moth aptly named Aroga epigaeella. It is also a likely host plant for the hoary elfin butterfly (Callophrys polios), a species that is declining significantly in the eastern part of its United States range. Interestingly, the hoary elfin’s primary host plant is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, or bearberry, another trailing shrub in the heath family. Both bearberry and mayflower (as well as other ericaceous plants) contain the compound arbutin, which is considered a strong urinary antiseptic. Epigaea was used medicinally by Native American groups including the Cherokee and the Iroquois, to treat kidney disorders, diarrhea, and indigestion. (Source:grownativemass.org)